Sandusky's attorneys asking for a new trial
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Attorneys representing former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky filed a motion Thursday asking for a new trial, saying they did not have adequate time to prepare a defense, and they believed the statute of limitations for some of the charges had passed.
Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison after a Centre County jury convicted him on 45 criminal counts, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and reckless endangerment, in incidents dating as far back as 1997.
In the motion filed Thursday, attorney Joseph Amendola repeated his claims that prosecutors had "insufficient" evidence that Sandusky committed the crimes and that Mr. Amendola and his partners did not have enough time to prepare an adequate defense because Judge John M. Cleland denied several of their requests for continuances.
Experts agree that the 11-month turnaround time between when Sandusky was charged and when he was sentenced was very quick but offer differing opinions about whether that will affect his attempts at an appeal.
Mr. Amendola wrote that the continuances would have allowed a doctor from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sexual Disorders Unit and a private investigator who "suffered from a medical condition" to be present at the trial. He also referenced malfunctioning photocopying equipment that "delayed the reproduction" of some materials.
Defense attorneys were hampered, Mr. Amendola wrote, by the fact that they could not call athletic director Tim Curley, who has been on leave since he was charged with perjury in connection with the scandal, and retired vice president Gary Schultz as witnesses. The attorney wrote that he believed the statute of limitations had expired on some of the charges involving seven victims because the incidents occurred before the statute was expanded in 2002.
Sandusky's attorneys also filed a motion Thursday asking that his sentence be changed because Judge Cleland "abused" his discretion by giving Sandusky consecutive rather than concurrent sentences.
Judge Cleland said the sentence "has the unmistakable effect of saying you will spend the rest of your life in prison" when he handed down it down. Mr. Amendola argued the sentence violated Sandusky's constitutional rights.
Among other issues Mr. Amendola is appealing are the judge's decision to permit testimony from a custodian who quoted another custodian as having witnessed Mr. Sandusky in the shower with one victim; a late decision to change the date of the alleged incident on which former assistant football coach Mike McQueary testified; the denial of a continuance that would have permitted an expert to testify about the characteristics of pedophiles and their alleged victims; and the judge's decision not to instruct the jury on how to consider delays in the time it took for accusers to contact police.
First Published October 19, 2012 12:00 am